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Launch of Voskhod-2

The Voskhod-2 spacecraft lifted off from Tyuratam on March 18, 1965.


Voskhod-2 lifts off on March 18, 1965.

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Voskhod-2 lifted off on a cold morning of March 18, 1965, at 10:00 Moscow Time, with commander Pavel Belyaev and pilot Aleksei Leonov aboard. The rocket ascended to orbit according to the following timeline:

L+0 seconds — Liftoff;

L+118 seconds — Stage I separation;

L+153 seconds — Payload fairing separation;

L+292 seconds — Stage II separation;

L+523 seconds — Stage III shutdown;

L+527 seconds — Stage III separation. (899)

After a normal ascent, the spacecraft entered a 498 by 137-kilometer orbit with an inclination around 65 degrees toward the Equator. (2)

The world's first spacewalk was planned during the second revolution of the Voskhod-2 mission, though in case of delays or minor problems, the crew had time to perform it as late as the 6th revolution during the flight, in view of Soviet ground stations.

To catch the primary spacewalk window, the crew had to begin preparations immediately upon reaching orbit. However, rookie cosmonauts had to spend from two to three minutes familiarizing themselves with the new environment, before they could start planned operations, according to a post-flight report apparently written by Belyaev. Still, they would eventually catch up with the schedule, the document said. (899)


Leonov and Belyaev walk out of the vehicle processing building on their way to the launch pad in preparation for the Voskhod-2 liftoff.


Chief Designer of OKB-1 Sergei Korolev (left) and Georgy Tyulin, the Head of the State Commission overseeing the launch of Voskhod-2 (center), bid farewell to Pavel Belyaev on the launch pad.


Next chapter: Leonov walks in space


The article by Anatoly Zak; Last update: March 20, 2020

Page editor: Alain Chabot; Last edit: March 18, 2020

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Launch of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft.